Last year’s runner-up Dominic Thiem moved into the French Open third round on Thursday, downing Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-3, 7-5 in two hours and 30 minutes.
“Today was very difficult,” said the fourth-seeded Austrian. “It was a tough match-up for me because there were almost no rallies…He gave me no rhythm at all. He did it very well, actually.
I was playing really bad once I got into the rally, which made it even more difficult. Somehow the fire never got there. It was four close sets.”
In all, Thiem hit 35 winners to just 16 unforced errors to secure his spot in the third round and into a matchup with Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas who ousted 28th seed Kyle Edmund 7-6(3), 6-3, 2-1 (ret.).
After battling for five sets in his opener, Alexander Zverev needed just three to advance on Thursday. The fifth-seeded German beat Sweden’s Mikael Ymer 6-1, 6-3, 7-6(3) to move through.
“I think a lot of tight matches have helped me in Geneva and here in the first round,” said Zverev. “Today, I was swinging at the ball quite nicely and hitting it very aggressively and it was a very good match for me. In important moments, I’m finally being very aggressive and stepping up. I think especially against John [Millman] in the fifth set, I stepped up a lot and this is, I think, what I’m happiest about.”
Zverev takes on 30th seed Dusan Lajovic of Serbia next. Lajovic was a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 winner over Frenchman Elliot Benchetrit.
World number one Novak Djokovic needed just over an hour and a half to beat Switzerland’s Henri Laaksonen 6-1, 6-4, 6-3. He will meet Italian Salvatore Caruso next.
Caruso upset 26th seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 on Thursday.
The last American man remaining in the draw, Taylor Fritz, bowed out to Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets.
Other winners on Thursday included eighth-seed Juan Martin del Potro, ninth-seed Fabio Fognini, 10th seed Karen Khachanov, 13th seed Borna Coric and 14th seed Gael Monfils.